Friday, May 16, 2008
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Dear Friends and Neighbors:
Today is the last day of my last session in the Colorado General Assembly. I actually can't find words to describe the experience except to say that it was honor to be chosen by the people of my district to represent them and an honor to be chosen by other Senators to be the Majority Leader. I don't know what I am going to do next. Below is something I passed out to Senators today. If anyone wants to forward these Rules of Legislative Conduct or publish them you have my permission. I will continue to write as events occur. Thanks for all of your support over the years. I am not retiring. I will still be involved in public affairs. I just don't know the form that will take.
Colorado State Senate
Gordon's Rules of Legislative Conduct(Suggestions for future legislators)
1. Think for yourself. If you don't have any internal values that inform your conduct here, find another occupation.
2. Leadership: You can't always be liked and always do the right thing. If you don't have the courage to sometimes do the right thing even though it will anger some person or support group, you should find another occupation. If you don't have courage, you may be an elected official, but you are not a leader.
3. If you are in the majority and you can't pass a bill that you want to pass without abusing the process, then you shouldn't pass the bill. If you can’t kill a bill that you want to kill without abusing the process, then you shouldn’t kill the bill.
4. If you abuse the process in order to prevent minority party members from accomplishing anything that reflects the values of their constituents, then you create a deep and bitter resentment. This resentment will come back to haunt you in myriad ways. Abuse of the process does not show strength. It shows weakness.
5. Respect the minority party members. There are a large number of people who voted for them. When you disrespect the minority party members you disrespect many of the people of Colorado. And their ideas are not always wrong.
6. Think of the other members of the Senate as team members--even members of the other party. The goal is not to be in the majority. If that were the goal, then the other party would be the enemy. The goal is to make Colorado the best state in the country, or in any country for that matter. To do this we need everyone's help. If we don't do this we will be at a competitive disadvantage with states or countries that learn how to work better together.
7. Some people think there is a distinction between how you act in a campaign and how you act at the legislature. If you lie during a political campaign, that makes you a liar, and you will be treated that way in the legislature as well.
8. Respect the people who put you in office. You might think that you do that, but every time you commit your vote to a lobbyist or even another member before you have heard committee testimony or debate, you have disrespected the people who wish to voice their opinion.
9. Don't let conflict escalate. Be the one who deescalates. Be the bigger person. Be the person who acknowledges error. If you have to, go outside and take a walk.
10. Have pride in what you are doing. You stand on the shoulders of many thousands who have worked or shed blood for our rights and our democracy. Fewer than 2% of the people who have ever lived have lived in a democracy. Don't take it for granted. By your conduct here, honor those people who fought for this democracy.
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Anyone who has made more than a few political phone calls has had this happen to him/her...
Hello, this is Bill Smith from the Nason campaign. May I speak to Mary Jones? Oh, I'm sorry to hear that. When did she pass away? Six years ago? I am sorry to bother you. You say you get these phone calls every election season?Every year at election time, the families of deceased voters across the state face unnecessary reminders of the long ago deaths of loved ones who have stopped voting but whose names can't be removed from the voter rolls.
This kind of thing would stop if families were told to write Ken Gordon when this happens and ask him to explain why they were bothered again. This year, he sponsored HB08-1329 which erected more roadblocks to getting dead voters off the rolls. It forces county clerks to send ballots to dead voters.
Monday, May 5, 2008
A commenter on a Denver Post article said:
[ Ken ] Gordon could become a happier man if he gets the secretary of state job…And Colorado Senate News had this jewel:
That might explain why Ken Gordon lost the Secretary of State race in 2006 when so many Democrats won in other statewide races. It might be that the only way he can get into the office is via appointment.
Sen. Steve Johnson, R-Fort Collins, who joined in the laughter as fellow Republican Sen. Greg Brophy of Wray recounted his recent run-ins with traffic cops. The Senate was debating the expansion of Colorado's seat-belt law.
"Even Gordon's funny today."
Johnson, only moments later, when normally dour Senate Majority Leader Ken Gordon, D-Denver, followed up with a wisecrack at the podium.
Sunday, May 4, 2008
It seems that Senator Gordon was shoving a voter registration bill through the state Senate, SB08-240, that would allow on-line voter registration without proof of citizenship or even an ID. When challenged, the following exchange occurred according to Colorado Senate News:
"Photo ID is kind of a passport to participating in all kinds of ordinary life," the GOP's Sen. Shawn Mitchell, of Broomfield, told his colleagues. His appeal fell flat on [ Ken ] Gordon, however, who mocked Republican concerns about ineligible voters trying to register.
"Some people have a paranoid delusion that there are people here illegally in the United States in order to vote," Gordon said.
Later, Mitchell asked:
"If an unregistered felon voted in front of you, Sen. Gordon, how would you know?" an astonished [ Shawn ] Mitchell asked [ Ken ] Gordon...
“If you need a photo ID to get on a plane, enter a federal building, or buy alcohol, it is not an injustice to show one in order to register to vote,” said Mitchell. “This is a common-sense security measure. The majority’s opposition is wrong-headed.”
If Sen. [ Ken ] Gordon thinks that a notice that illegal voting is a felony provides a good security measure, then I invite him to post a notice that burglary is a felony and leave his door unlocked.”
It seems that very few of those involved in the debate have read the latest Supreme Court ruling upholding voter ID requirements. We will be writing on that a bit later.
Friday, May 2, 2008
The purpose of this blog is to help Bill Ritter and the public determine if Ken Gordon is too sleazy to succeed Mike Coffman as Secretary of State should Coffman resign in January to become a congressman.
How many state legislators have an opposition blog solely dedicated to them? Ken Gordon should feel honored to get the attention.
It will take a few days to get this blog up and going, but we wanted to ensure that we got the name registered and the first post made.